Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's Your Story? Please Share!

Do you have a story to share? I've noticed some outstanding self-defense stories in the news lately.

One was this 12 year old girl who heard a noise downstairs, went to investigate, and came face to face with a hooded intruder. Not only does she kick him in the crotch, after he runs she draws a sketch to make it easier for police to find the guy.  Read the story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1299920/Home-girl-foils-burglar-groin-kick-draws-police-picture-him.html.

Then there's the 13 year old girl who fought off a guy with a knife! Read her story at http://www.thegrio.com/news/13-year-old-girl-fights-off-knife-wielding-attacker.php.

And a third happened here in Seattle, when a woman jogging in Seward Park fought off an assailant. Read her story at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013154472_attack14m.html. This woman was reported to have said to her assailant, "not me, not here, not now." Many students in my recent classes read about this attack, and took this woman's mantra to heart.

"Not me, not here, not now." The power of the story.

Over twenty years ago women were dismayed to see virtually no self-defense success stories in the news. They reached out to the community -- posters, ad in papers and on campuses, word of mouth -- and were rewarded with an overwhelming abundance of first-hand reports of successful self-defense.  The results became Her Wits About Her: Self-Defense Success Stories by Women, edited by Denise Caignon and Gail Groves, and is a classic in self-defense studies.

An article in the current issue of the academic journal Violence Against Women explores the power of the successful self-defense story. Author Jill Cermele notes these critical benefits of telling women's self-defense stories.
  • First, they are real examples of real women successfully defending themselves. When more of us know what other women have done successfully, we are more inclined to use resistance.
  • Second, by telling successful resistance as an event that happened, rather than a non-event, we recognize that women have positively acted and DONE SOMETHING POWERFUL.
[from Telling Our Stories: The Importance of Women's Narratives of Resistance, by Jill Cermele.  Violence Against Women, 16(10): 1162-72, 2010, http://vaw.sagepub.com/content/16/10/1162.

Please share! I've begun posting stories I find, or that others have found, on my Facebook page. If you come across any stories, please email them to me or post to my FB page. I can assure you that other self-defense instructors will re-share them. The more the word gets out, the safer we and our communities will become.

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